A Texas Republican filed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in the first week of the new GOP-led House.
In a document filed Monday night, Rep. Pat Fallon accused Mayorkas of “high crimes and misdemeanours” as homeland security secretary. The articles have been referred to the Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Ohio Republican Jim Jordan.
Since President Joe Biden took office, Congressional Republicans have prioritised immigration and the increase in border crossings. The administration has been chastised by Republicans for moving to repeal Trump-era policies such as “Remain in Mexico,” which aimed to limit immigration at the southern border, and Title 42, which was implemented near the start of the Covid pandemic and allowed US authorities to turn asylum seekers away at the border.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve arrived here, but it’s necessary.” “In a statement, Fallon stated. “The possibility of impeachment for Secretary Mayorkas is not an accident. He has knowingly abdicated his duties as Secretary of Homeland Security and has actively misled Congress and the American people. He must leave if we are to make any progress at our southern border.”
Marsha Espinosa, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, responded to a request for comment on the impeachment effort, saying lawmakers “can do better than point the finger at someone else; they should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and outdated laws, which they have not updated in over 40 years.”
In November, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called on Mayorkas to resign, saying he had failed to secure the southern border. McCarthy, speaking alongside other Republican lawmakers in El Paso, Texas, warned at the time that if Mayorkas refused to resign, House Republicans would launch an investigation and consider impeachment proceedings.
Mayorkas said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday that he was ready for any GOP-led investigations “I am. I will. And I’ll keep doing my job throughout.”
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., initiated the impeachment process in August 2021. The effort failed in the Democratic-controlled House.
Biden made his first trip to the border as President on Sunday. He visited El Paso to assess enforcement operations just days after his administration announced new restrictions on asylum-seekers in the face of record numbers of migrants attempting to enter the United States.
According to Customs and Border Protection data, the number of undocumented crossings at the southwest border for fiscal year 2022 surpassed 2.76 million, breaking a previous record by more than a million. When the data was released in October, CBP said in a statement that Covid restrictions led to “multiple border crossing attempts.”
Mayorkas was sworn in as Homeland Security Secretary in February 2021, after the Senate confirmed him with a vote of 56-43. Six Republicans joined Democrats in supporting him.